Message from John C.


Message from John C.

My Vero Beach CrossFit Friends,
I first want to say thank you to all of you for your support and prayers during my ordeal.  My family and I are very appreciative and grateful.  I suffered from an aortic dissection, which essentially means that I tore my aorta.  More often then not this leads to death.  In my case I am grateful that I was at the hospital within an hour of the first symptom of chest pain, and that the hospital I was at was Indian River Memorial.  The heart facility we have here is second to none, and I have had friends of mine in the medical field in other parts of the country who said that IRMC is where they would want to have their heart surgery if the occasion ever where to arise.  Successful open heart surgery was performed on me the following morning, and I am on my way to a full recovery.  The longest process is the 8 weeks it takes the sternum to heal.
I wanted to pass on a couple points that I have learned, because I never want to see anyone in my position if it can be avoided.  If you ever experience any type of chest pains, whether it is while working out, at home, or even during the night go to the hospital immediately.  My chest pains felt like someone had their hand in the middle of my chest and was squeezing.  It was not the worse pain I have ever felt, but it was just enough that I knew something was wrong.  It helped that it happened during a workout and in the morning, because should the pain have started at night I could have seen myself just laying in bed and possibly falling asleep.  That would have been game over.  Please do not blow off chest pains of any kind.
If you have a history of family heart problems or high blood pressure/hypertension, get it checked out.  There is a reason why high blood pressure/cardiac disease is called the "silent killer."  A month ago I thought that I was invincible.  I was 31, in good shape, followed a diet full of fruits and vegetables, and had never smoked a cigarette, done a street drug, or touched steroids.  I would have bet the house that open heart surgery was not in my future.  A simple "echo" test performed by a cardiologist can help detect any pre-existing conditions you may have.  And if it has been years since you have had a routine physical, see your doctor.  You could be walking around with high blood pressure and not even know it because it shows no symptoms.
I miss all of you, and want to be there at 6 each morning killing the WOD.  Hopefully in a couple of months down the road I can get through my physical and mental road blocks and join you again.  Until then, be grateful for your daily health and take care of your body.  And if your body ever tells you something is wrong, listen to it and treat it seriously.  Thank you again, and God bless.
John Colontrelle 
Workout of the Day:

Pick a skill or Olympic lift and practice for 10 minutes.


Box jumps – 24"
Wall ball to 10' target – 20/14
Push-ups – chest to floor

4 Responses

  1. Diane Blais

    John, we are so happy for the outcome of your surgery, you are exactly right, we have the best right here in our little town when it comes to heart surgery. Dr. Cary Stowe was also my doctor 4 1/2 years ago in Orlando, he is the greatest. Follow all of your instructions to the tee and you will be back to doing what you love to do really soon. We miss seeing you at 6:00 but we know you will be back. Thanks for writing in and letting us know how you are and for your information of signs to watch out for.

  2. kristi

    Terrific hearing from you John. You are so positive and really gave us all something to think about today. Looking forward to seeing you back in the gym soon!

  3. SonnySIb

    Congrats Big John! You will be back in no time…My 800 meters are not as fast without you back there breathing down my neck!!!! Get well soon brother…